FANDOM


Józef Bednarski (January 21, 1941), is a Polish former professional wrestler and bodybuilder. He is known by the ring name Ivan Putski and was given the nickname "The Polish Hammer".

Putski is a former WWF World Tag Team Champion with Tito Santana. Ivan was known to have an ongoing feud with another professional at the time, "Superstar" Billy Graham over the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship, who also had an incredible physique and strength, which led to many pose-downs, arm wrestling bouts, and long, physical matches between the two. Other rivals included Iron Sheik, Ivan Koloff, and Jesse "The Body" Ventura.

Early life

Putski was born in Kraków and migrated to the United States at a young age. He and his family arrived in Texas, where Putski began his professional wrestling career. He stood 5 ft 6 in and weighed around 225 lbs. In his earlier days, he was weighed in at the 250 lb mark.

Professional wrestling

Early career (1968–1974)

Putski won the NWA Texas Tag Team Championship with Jose Lothario twice in 1973.

Putski was a fixture on the Dallas-Ft. Worth wrestling scene and was one of its most popular personalities. He was routinely the feature act at The Sportatorium, a wrestling-only arena in an industrial section near Downtown Dallas. Putski's act consisted of being a happy-go-lucky, often aloof buffoon, who would "miraculously" pin his opponent. Putski was often introduced as a former concentration camp survivor, only adding to his sympathetic appeal to audiences of all ages.

In mid-1974, Putski worked with the American Wrestling Association.

Prior to leaving the AWA, Ivan dropped most of his weight by getting into bodybuilding. Ivan kept himself fairly trim at the 215 - 220 pound mark.

World (Wide) Wrestling Federation (1974–1987)

Putski debuted in the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) in 1974. While in the WWWF, Putski feuded with many wrestlers, including Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen and Ivan Koloff. On June 25, 1976 at Showdown at Shea, Putski defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna. Four years later on August 9, Putski was again victorious at the event's sequel, defeating Johnny Rodz.

On October 22, 1979, Putski teamed with Tito Santana to defeat Johnny and Jerry Valiant to win the WWF World Tag Team Championship. They held the title for six months before losing it to The Wild Samoans.

Putski worked in the renamed World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the 1980s, primarily feuding with Roddy Piper and Sgt. Slaughter. He took a hiatus from wrestling in 1986. He soon returned to the independent circuit, also making occasional appearances in the WWF as a jobber to the stars. His last high-profile feud was in 1984 with Jesse Ventura. His final appearance was in 1987 teaming on television with Junkyard Dog and Superstar Billy Graham in tag team matches.

Other promotions (1981–1987)

He began to slow down his career in the 1980s. He won his last tag team championship in May 1981, teaming with Wahoo McDaniel to defeat Dory Funk, Jr. and Larry Lane for the SWCW World Tag Team Championship. In November 1985, Randy Savage defeated Ivan Putski in the opening round of the Wrestling Classic.

Return to WWF (1995)

In 1995, Putski was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame by his son, Scott. The father-and-son team returned in July 1997 to defeat Jerry Lawler and Brian Christopher on Raw is War, in what would be Putski's final match.

International Championship Wrestling (1996)

After his run in the WWF, several promotions, and his semi-retirement, Putski returned to the ring in the 1990s. In 1996, he joined International Championship Wrestling, as a face. He won several matches in the company, and he was billed as a tough guy. Although he never won a championship of ICW.

Retirement

After work for several wrestling promotions, mostly, from the independent circuit, Putski retired from full active competition in the decade of the 1990s. After his retirement from wrestling, he had a strongman career. Putski occasionally made appearances in the ring during the years.

In 2010, Putski appeared in a reunion event called "LegendsMania" and he was interviewed.

Strongman career

Aside from wrestling, Ivan Putski also competed as a strongman. He participated in the 1978 World's Strongest Man competition, finishing eighth in a field of ten competitors. He gained his remarkable leg strength by running up and down the stands at a football stadium near his home in Austin, Texas.

Personal life

Putski's son, Scott Putski, is also a professional wrestler, having previously worked at World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling. However, Scott did not share the same success that Ivan once had.

From 2000 to 2007, Putski worked as head security guard at Jack C. Hays High School in Buda, Texas.

On January 8, 2012, Ivan Putski was inducted into the Cloverleaf Radio Hall of Fame, Class of 2012.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

External links

1991 PWI Top 500 Wrestlers
1-100
Hulk HoganLex LugerRic FlairRandy SavageStingScott SteinerRick SteamboatSteve WilliamsArn AndersonRick SteinerUltimate WarriorJerry LawlerCurt HennigBarry WindhamRoad Warrior HawkSid JusticeTed DiBiaseRoad Warrior AnimalNikita KoloffThe Great MutaBret HartTerry FunkJake RobertsStan HansenBig BossmanRick RudeJushin LigerJeff JarrettRon SimmonsBobby EatonSteve AustinEric EmbryBig Van VaderAntonio InokiAbdullah the ButcherSgt. SlaughterShawn MichaelsLarry ZbyszkoIrwin R. SchysterKerry Von ErichRick MartelMr. SaitoEddie GilbertBrian PillmanCactus JackDavey Boy SmithDino BravoTom ZenkKonnanEarthquakeTony AnthonyTerrence TaylorGreg ValentineBob BacklundThe PatriotRichard MortonMarty JannetyBam Bam BigelowDoug FurnasMichael HayesStan LaneDan SpiveyRobert GibsonTony AtlasBill DundeeChris AdamsCol. DebeersBezerkerIceman ParsonsJim NeidhartVictor ZangievAustin IdolHerculesAl PerezWarlordDiamond StuddThe MountieKevin Von ErichRoddy PiperSamuGary YoungHacksaw DugganJeff GaylordBig Bully BusickThe BarbarianP.N. NewsManny FernandezTracey SmothersBlack BloodSmashRiki ChoshuDynamite KidJim GarvinAxis the DemolisherBeau BeverlySamoan SavageBilly Jack HaynesKen PateraBad News BrownJoel Deaton
101-200
Johnny B. BaddRobert FullerLarry CameronAngel of DeathBrad ArmstrongJimmy SnukaChris BenoitThe GrapplerNaoki SanoJerry EstradaNegro CasasEl GiganteBlake BeverlyOne Man GangPaul OrndorffAndre The GiantDick MurdochDr. Tom PrichardThe SkinnerB. Brian BlairThomas RichBuddy RobertsButch ReedDon MuracoPaul RomaRon GarvinRandy RoseBig JoshCarlos ColonBob Orton, Jr.Dustin RhodesSteve ArmstrongBrickhouse BrownTito SantanaAkira NogamiBrad RheigansDan DavisJimmy Jack FunkBilly BlackFatuScott NortonMil MascarasWendell CooleyHakuMike DavisSteve DiSalvoPat TanakaKokina MaximusDoug GilbertRicky RiceJim BrunzellKevin SullivanDerrick DukesIvan KoloffRip OlliverBuzz SawyerJohnny SmithJunkyard DogJohn TatumHirioshi HaseAwesome DogScott AnthonyKatoBobby FultonDick SlaterBrian KnobbsMakhan SinghMr. HughesDan KroffatThe Honky Tonk ManShane DouglasSteve DollMasa ChonoChris WalkerYellow DogJumbo TsurutaTim HornerD.C. DrakeVic SteamboatLou PerezPaul DiamondSteve RegalThe EqualizerBuddy LandellChris ChavisDavid SamartinoMitsuharu MisawaAl MadrilJerry SagsJoe SavoldiDestructionThe SheikTommy RogersSoultakerJohnny AceTommy JammerRex KingHarley RaceRochester RoadblockBrad Anderson
201-300
Jerry MorrowBilly TravisSam HoustonTom BrandiD.J. PetersonCheetah KidOctagonRicky SantanaTerminatorSteven DaneSteve SawyerApocalypseKen WayneDoug MastersCol MustafaCharlie NorrisKing CobraLarry SharpeTodd MortonLarry OliverChip the FirebreakerSunny BeachJonnie StewartDutch MantelMiguel Perez Jr.Stevie RayBill IrwinAfaLanny PoffoTyphoonRanger RossRay OdysseyKamalaJay Strongbow Jr.Preston SteeleTyree PrideSteve SimpsonBadstreetAdrian StreetRip RogersRay StevensJacko VictoryThe JuicerRussian BruteScott PutskiVirgilTerry GarvinMr. PogoSteve ODean MalenkoDoug SomersSkip YoungLightning KidEric SbracchiaHandsome StrangerTNTTeijho KhanBarry HorowitzKoko B. WareNikolai VolkoffKen TimbsRob ZakowskiMondo KleenFire CatRip MorganToshiaki KawadaTazmaniacPez WhatleyIvan PutskiJoe MalenkoBuddy RoseJackie FultonRon HarrisLuke WilliamsGama SinghLeo BurkeT.C. CarterScott CaseyChris ChampionChick DonovanDory Funk Jr.Greg GagneMike GeorgeMike GrahamInvader IRocky JohnsonCpl. KirchnerRufus R. JonesWahoo McDanielVan HammerYoshihiro AsaiKillerEl SantoCrushLarry PowerMotor City MadmanBrian AdiasMark RoccoRon BassBrad Baiton
301-400
401-500